A novel anti-cancer drug claimed to attack the human cancer cells in a unique way will be distributed to patients for the first time in New Zealand. The clinical trial would be held at New Zealand's Waikato Hospital, according to health reports released on Wednesday.
Auckland University cancer researcher Professor Bill Wilson described PR-104 as a "unique anti-cancer drug that is converted to a DNA damaging agent in the hypoxic (oxygen deficient) regions in tumours".
"This first clinical trial is an important step in seeking to exploit the abnormality of tumours as a basis for treatment," he said.
Wilson said more than 65 percent of the 10 million people diagnosed with cancer each year have areas of significant hypoxia in their tumours.
"Relapse of treated cancer is probably often due to the ability of cancer cells in hypoxic regions to survive existing treatments."
The drug was developed in New Zealand by Proacta Inc, a company founded by leading cancer researchers at the University of Auckland and Stanford University, California.